Meeting Tips Quick Tips: – Be polite, brief and specific – Be a good listener – Respect the legislator’s right to disagree. This is a process. – If your legislator disagrees, don’t argue – Be polite to administrative assistants and support staff – Don’t get upset if your appointment is cancelled or your legislator is stuck in a committee meeting
Your Meeting Introduction – Everyone in the room briefly introduce yourselves – Remind the legislator you are a constituent – Tell him/her where you live (I live on S. Main Street) Make it Personal – Share why these issues matter to you You’re a survivor, caregiver, etc. Make the Ask – Ask for their support
Your Meeting Listen to their Response Follow-up – Write a thank-you note after the meeting – If they requested more information, make sure you or staff get back to them Report Back – Complete the report back process – Fill out the evaluation form
Improve Patient Quality of Life Reduce Stress for Tennesseans with Multiple Prescriptions Support HB475 (Shepard) / SB497 (Haile) Patient Ease and Convenience Efficiency (PEACE) Act This bill has bi-partisan support Is “permissive”: Not mandatory Common Sense Encourages pharmacists and providers to communicate, and work with patients to help them make one trip per month for refills.
Support HB475 (Shepard) / SB497 (Haile) Patient Ease and Convenience Efficiency (PEACE) Act For some patients with limited access to transportation, making numerous trips to the pharmacy is a very real barrier to getting the medications they need, and increases the possibility that they will go without required medication until they can get to the pharmacy; Protects cancer patients from delays and administrative barriers; Ensures they have access to all medically necessary and appropriate drugs can drastically improve a patient’s quality of life.
Making the Ask “Can we count on you to support HB475/ SB497?”
Improve Quality of Life Ensure Adequate Pain Management for Cancer Patients Addressing pain management is a critical issue to improving the quality of life of cancer patients and those with other serious illnesses. ACS CAN supports legislation that recognizes pain management, including use of controlled substances, as legitimate medical practice and protects patients in need of pain management. Cancer Pain Control: Advancing Balanced State Policy (page 41)
Making the Ask “Will you please help eliminate cancer as a major health problem when you place your votes on pain management issues this session?”
Protect Legislation and Programs that Reduce the Cancer Burden in Tennessee The Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program provides life-saving screening to uninsured, underserved and underinsured women who are 40 years old or older. The program is administered by the Tennessee Department of Health and is funded by a combination of state and federal budget appropriations.
TN Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program – About 14,000 women a year are screened through the program. – The need is much greater – only 16% of the 85,000 eligible women in the state are screened. – Every woman who is eligible for the program deserves to be screened. – Early detection saves lives. State funding for the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program stands at $1 million annually
Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening – When breast cancer is detected early, at a localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 99%. – When detected at a later stage, the 5-year survival rate drops to 24%. – Evidence suggests that women eligible for this program have lower overall screening rates, begin screenings later in life, go longer between screenings and are challenged in getting treatment if they are diagnosed with cancer. Why is this program important? Funding for Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening (page 34)
Protect Legislation and Programs that Reduce the Cancer Burden in Tennessee – Thousands of Tennesseans die every year from smoking – The cost of treating tobacco- related illness is a burden on our health care system. – Because of the high number of tobacco users on TennCare, the state bears much of the cost for treatment of tobacco related illness. TennCare Tobacco Cessation Program Maintaining state funding for tobacco cessation services will help smokers kick the habit and reduce health care costs.
Making the Ask “Can we count on you to preserve and protect funding for Tennessee’s Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Screening Program? that is in the Governor’s budget now?” “Will you support continued funding for Tenncare’s Smoking Cessation program, too?”
Improve Access to Health Care Adequate access to health coverage is critically important to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s effort of eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Tennesseans lacking health insurance are less likely to get recommended cancer screenings so are more likely to be diagnosed with late stage cancer, when it is more costly to treat and patients are less likely to survive. Broaden Access to Health Coverage for Low-Income Tennesseans
Improve Access to Health Care An estimated 36,580 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in Tennessee this year and 14,080 people will die from this disease. One in two men and one in three women are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Hard-working, low-income families need the security of quality health coverage to get life-saving care when they need it, without facing huge medical bills.
Improve Access to Health Care An estimated 363,000 Tennesseans would become eligible for health care insurance coverage if the state accepted federal funds, resulting in millions of taxpayer dollars being saved that are currently spent to treat uninsured state residents in emergency rooms. ACS CAN encourages state leaders to accept federal funds available to help prevent and treat serious diseases such as cancer and support Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan.
Making the Ask “Will you please consider can help eliminate cancer as a major health problem if you are asked to support a bill that expands access to health care coverage in Tennessee?
Save Lives by Increasing Tennessee’s Tobacco Tax We need to build support among lawmakers to increase Tennessee’s tobacco tax. Tennessee’s tobacco tax is 62 cents per pack of cigarettes. 11 th lowest tax in the nation. Tennessee last raised its tobacco tax in 2007. The average state tobacco tax is $1.53. Tobacco Excise Taxes (page 5)
Tobacco Tax Increase Raising the state tax on cigarettes by a minimum of $1.00 and by an equivalent amount on other tobacco products would: Prevent at least 45,500 children from becoming tobacco users. Why raise the tobacco tax in Tennessee? Save at least 28,900 lives from premature death from tobacco use. Generate a minimum of $271.84 million in new, annual tax revenue.
Tobacco Tax Increase Why is this important? – 21% (73,700) Tennessee high school students smoke – 7,600 kids become new daily smokers. – 19% of adults smoke – 9,700 adults die from their own smoking each year – Tennessee spends $2.16 billion on health care costs directly related to smoking. Why raise the tobacco tax in Tennessee? A $1 increase in the tobacco tax would reduce youth smoking by 7-8%
Making the Ask “May we continue to talk with you about the cost of smoking to Tennessee and raising the tobacco tax to cover it?”
What Did You Learn? Our Issues HB475 (Shepard) / SB497 (Haile) Preserve Funding the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program Preserve Funding TennCare Smoking Cessation Expand Access to Health Care for Uninsured Tennesseans Build Support for a Tobacco Tax Increase
See you in Nashville on Tuesday, March 3 ! Old Senate Library State Capitol 8:30 a.m. CT